Ghanaian News

More room for talks – Akufo-Addo on Nigeria border closure

President Nana Akufo-Addo is hopeful ongoing talks between Nigeria and Ghana would resolve the impasse with the West African giant’s closure of its western borders.

Addressing to a delegation from First National Bank, Nigeria, Akufo-Addo noted “there’s a lot of room for continuing talks between” Nigeria and Ghana in order for a breakthrough to be reached.

Already, the Deputy Trades Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah has said Ghana and Nigeria have reached an agreement for Ghanaian goods to be allowed into Nigeria and for Ghana-bound goods which are stuck on the Nigerian side to be allowed to cross the Nigerian-Benin border.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express programme last week, Mr Ahenkorah said the said agreement would be enforced in two weeks.

The decision was reportedly reached after Foreign Minister Shirley Ayokor Botchwey and Trades Minister Alan Kyerematen held talks with their Nigerian counterparts on the border closure in Abuja.

But the President of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), Joseph Obeng who was also on the PM Express show said he had no faith in the government’s assurances.

The Nigerian government has also not given any hints of opening its borders.

President Akufo-Addo, speaking on the matter, however, stated: “there are other considerations we all have to look at and examine to find a way so we can all live in this region in harmony…”

GUTA, other interest groups and some legislators in Ghana have meanwhile called for a retaliatory measure against Nigeria if they refuse to budge on reopening the borders.

Why has Nigeria closed its borders?

The government of Nigeria in August said it is time to end rampant smuggling of food across the porous frontiers.

The decision is aimed at preventing weapons and drugs from entering the country and not just to stop food smuggling, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said.

The border closure has, however, received widespread criticism from across the sub-region.

The move violates the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol.

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